Changes Ahead For West OC Outlets After Sale

WEST OCEAN CITY — The Tanger Outlets in West Ocean City were sold this week, resulting in a new name and promise of new stores at the vast shopping center along Route 50.

Tanger Outlets Centers, Inc. announced on Monday it had closed on the sale of four of the non-core shopping centers in its portfolio including the collection of outlet stores in West Ocean City. The other outlets sold by Tanger this week include locations in Nags Head, N.C., Park City, Utah and Williamsburg, Iowa.

Not included in the sale announced on Monday is Tanger’s massive outlet complex along both sides of Route 1 in Rehoboth. Although the terms of the individual sales were not made public, the total gross proceeds of the outlet centers topped $130 million.

Tanger sold the four shopping centers to the Singerman Real Estate Group and The Outlet Resource Group. Almost immediately after the sale was announced, the Tanger Outlets in West Ocean City was already being called Outlets Ocean City. The shopping center’s newly-minted website listed the existing stores in the complex along with others listed as “coming soon” including Michael Kors and Forever 21, for example.

“The collection of assets, individually and collectively, complements our current portfolio with centers that have strong tourism draws,” said The Outlet Resource Group Principal Lisa Wagner. “These are premiere shopping destinations and we look forward to building upon and improving the experience for shoppers and retailers. Customers tell us that outlet centers provide the most fun form of shopping. We will make sure that the consumer experience is both entertaining and rewarding.”

In its own statement, The Singerman Real Estate Group said consumers can expect an enhanced shopping experience at the Outlets Ocean City in West Ocean City.

“We see this transaction as a unique opportunity to acquire high-quality properties in strategic markets,” said Singman Real Estate Principal Steve Duncan. “We are very focused on further enhancing the shopping experience and creating value for the customers, retailers and the community as a whole.”

Tanger officials said the big sale had more to do with sound business decisions than a reflection on the performance of the sold assets.

“By completing these asset sales, we are strengthening the overall quality, reducing the average age, and improving the longer-term growth profile of the portfolio,” said Tanger CEO Steven Tanger. “We believe the benefits of these dispositions over time will more than offset the expected short-term earnings dilution, given that these assets are not expected to produce the long-term growth in cash flow that we anticipate from our core portfolio.”

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.